DRAGONS loosehead prop Sam Hobbs will miss the first two months of the season after summer surgery on a knee injury.

The 29-year-old had a strong first campaign at Rodney Parade after making the short move from Cardiff Blues last summer.

Hobbs played in 27 of 32 possible games, 20 of them starts, and impressed with his solid tight work and energy around the park.

However, he will miss the start of the Guinness PRO12 and is targeting a return in late-October, leaving new head coach Bernard Jackman with stalwart Phil Price, Thomas Davies and Luke Garrett as his senior options.

Price, who will pass Adam Black as the prop with most appearances in the Dragons’ history with seven more games, and Davies were on duty in the pre-season encounter with Montpellier last night.

Garrett starts at Northampton this afternoon and is back in the mix after spending last season on loan at the Scarlets, making 12 appearances in all competitions for the PRO12 title winners.

The 22-year-old from Tredegar has played for the Dragons four times as a replacement since making his debut against the Scarlets at Judgement Day in 2015.

He is one of a number of players who will be hoping to prosper from Jackman pledging to come in without any preconceptions about a pecking order.

The trio of looseheads were in the 40-strong squad for last week’s training camp in France while Lewis Evans travelled but is not fit.

The back row forward, who captained the Dragons last season, has been troubled by a calf injury and is unlikely to play against Exeter next Saturday.

It is hoped the 30-year-old, the region’s record appearance holder, could feature against Glasgow in Ebbw Vale in the final tune-up for the Guinness PRO14 opener against Leinster.

Wales Under-20s fly-half Arwel Robson is out of action for three months after an operation on a long-standing hip problem.